Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ghent Again

September 2nd we had planned to go to Amsterdam but hotel prices were staggering, and dropped considerably if we waited a day so we decided to take our friends to Ghent. While booking Amsterdam we observed that using Expedia on the eeePc yielded $400/night for a hotel that was $200/night when viewed through a Nexus 7 on the Expedia app. The iOS Expedia app also gave higher prices so we tended to book via the Nexus 7. Go Android. And go fuck yourselves Expedia; charging me double because I book via a different device is pretty vicious.

Despite Expedia's antics we made it to Ghent.

We got to enjoy the fancy facades all over again :)

After an abortive attempt to throw Pavan into the river we continued with re-exploring.

Ice cream was found.

Belgium does a good job of providing lounging areas.

We even re-boated!

Look at the castle!

We even saw the rare Ghentian climbing turtle.

Our boat was slightly smaller and this actually enabled us to see some new areas the bigger boat couldn't reach. Also, our guide this time around was only presenting in English rather than four or so languages so he gave a lot more details. These towers were built as a monument to a Ghent victory that primarily involved opening the flood gates and swamping the enemy. When the enemy later visited they gave him a room with a view over the monument to his defeat, or so the story goes. The large, ugly, highrise on the right is being demolished. The tenants are to receive new lowrise Spanish-style housing and the city will receive a nicer skyline.

Sad to see the graffiti go of course.

Our hostel turned out to have a very reasonably priced bar right on the side of the canal. Win!

For dinner we tried, at long last, the mussels. Very very good. And a very sizeable portion.

And of course the every popular beef stew.

Later we felt the need to have beer on the canalside. Sadly the bar was the only place selling Mongozo and they wouldn't let us take the bottles so desperate measures were taken.

For the rest of us we had grocery store beer. And no bottle opener. So we improvised. Nerds improvising beer openers results in considerable foam the first few tries but we soon more or less mastered it.

And then everybody happy.

Check out those awesome facades! They even light them up at night!

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